MR image segmentation and tissue metabolite contrast in 1H spectroscopic imaging of normal and aging brain

Magn Reson Med. 1999 Apr;41(4):841-5. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1522-2594(199904)41:4<841::aid-mrm25>;2-t.


The impact of image segmentation on 0.84-ml nominal voxel volume proton spectroscopic imaging in normal brain and in age-related cortical atrophy was investigated. Segmentation improved the gray matter-white matter (GM-WM) contrast for N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) and choline (Cho)/Cr in normal brain, and for NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr in atrophic brain. NAA(GM/WM) (approximately 0.7), Cho(GM/WM) (approximately 0.8), and Cr(GM/WM) (approximately 1.3) in normal brain obtained with segmentation agreed with values obtained with quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Age-related cortical atrophy led to decreased cortical GM NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr; no changes were evident in WM or in NAA(GM/WM), Cho(GM/WM), or Cr(GM/WM). GM/WM metabolite analysis may be of limited use in conditions in which parallel metabolite changes occur in WM and GM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aspartic Acid / analysis
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Choline / analysis
  • Creatine / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male


  • Aspartic Acid
  • Creatine
  • Choline